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My Eternal Friend

Some days I feel a bit ‘off’. There is usually nothing terribly ‘wrong’, but it is, as though, I am out of alignment emotionally. When I feel that way, I go outside and as I take my first step onto the patio, I feel like Dorothy landing in Oz, kind of. Mother Nature quickly envelopes me with her sights and sounds and her daily rituals. Simple rituals and goings on like a bright green lizard making noise in my unrestrained Peggy Martin that instantly pulls me in to this other world of natural magic. At first, I may be startled by the sound, for perhaps it is something unwelcome, but then I see him, busy roaming around looking for breakfast. He has no concern for what is going on in this big wide world, he is busy having his life, basking in the sun, eating bugs, and often, regrowing his tail. I can immediately join him in that perspective, I am in the natural world, and it begins to artfully align my world. I might walk a bit further into the yard to see the monarch caterpillars munching on milkweed knowing that butterflies will be here in summer. I expect they will hover in front of me as I make my way to my garden on early summer mornings to water and again in the late

afternoon to gather cucumbers. I will see them as they linger over pink and orange zinnias and bright yellow cosmos eating the nectar fluttering and pollinating, assuring me that later, there will be more blooms in my garden. I might hear the birds chattering about something high in the trees while enjoying the early spring breeze, as their neighbors, the squirrels, jump from tree to tree, hurriedly, as though they had somewhere important to go. They do not care either, they are living their lives and for the most part, joyously. After a walk around the yard, through the woods, perhaps, and a quick check on my garden and chicks, I am usually well-adjusted, once again. It is almost a primal experience, this touch of nature, this feel of something greater than us, this place where life goes on no matter what might be on the ’news’. Nature provides many cures for us but sometimes we forget to pay her a visit. She is my eternal friend. Dodging the late spring frosts, I have managed to slowly put in my summer garden…a variety of peppers, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, an assortment of herbs, Zinnias for Elizabeth’s summer cakes, and Milkweed for the monarchs and swallowtails. I am happy with it thus far, but as all gardeners know, it is never complete. Our woods are booming with bunnies and birds by now. I have had to put a bunny proof fence around my vegetable garden and now I deem it a kitchen garden….I love that, it suits my station in life. As a matter of fact, I am ‘pulling in’ and scaling down as much as I can these days; I want my ‘pantry’ to be nearby, closer to my backdoor. I am planting fruit trees closer to the house, I have a kitchen garden now instead of multiple rows in the somewhat far away field, my bees and chickens are close and one day, I will, perhaps, be able to move my clothesline near the backdoor. I, too, in this decade of the 60’s, must adapt and change just like the green lizard that, by now, may have left the safety of the Peggy Martin and is basking on the rail of the deck and to protect himself, has turned brown. Pam Shensky Berry Tales

April 16, 2023

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